News ID: 199737
Published: 0136 GMT September 01, 2017

UN: 27,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar as bodies wash up

UN: 27,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar as bodies wash up
AFP

More than 27,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence in Myanmar in recent days, the United Nations said, as corpses of people drowned in desperate attempts to cross the border river washed up on Bangladeshi soil Friday.

A further 20,000 Rohingya have massed along the Bangladeshi frontier, the UN added in a statement late Thursday, but are barred from entry as they run from burning villages and Myanmar Army operations, AFP reported.

Rumors of massacres and the systematic torching of villages by security forces – as well as by militants – have further amplified tensions, raising fears that communal violence in Rakhine state is spinning out of control.

Rights groups allege a massacre of Rohingya occurred on Sunday afternoon in the village of Chut Pyin in Rathedaung township, led by Myanmar security forces and ethnic Rakhine Buddhist mobs.

Fortify Rights, an NGO with a focus on Myanmar, said eyewitnesses allege mobs shot and hacked down Rohingya villagers – including children – in a five-hour "killing spree".

"The civilian government and military need to do everything in their power to immediately prevent more attacks," Matthew Smith of Fortify Rights said in statement.

Calls to the President's Office and Myanmar's Army went unanswered on Friday and the allegations could not be independently verified by AFP in an area which off-limits to reporters and has become a vortex of claims and counter-claims by the opposing sides.

   
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